Saturday, September 27, 2008

The 2008 Robbinsdal Radical Voting Guide: Part 1

This Voting Guide covers the Constitutional Amendments included on our ballot. Part 2 will cover the Initiated Measures. Part 3 will cover candidates.

A useful resource for learning more about the ballot measures is the South Dakota Ballot Question Pamphlet, which includes pro-and-con statements for each of the ballot questions.

Constitutional Amendment G - An Amendment to the South Dakota Constitution, to repeal certain reimbursement restrictions for travel by legislators to and from a legislative session.

The whole point of a Constitution (as opposed to your garden-variety law) is to set the framework for government and reserve rights for the people, not to spell out how many cents a mile to reimburse legislators for their travel. For one thing, we can't amend it fast enough to keep up with these gas prices! Our pioneer forebears weren't thinking straight (maybe too much wind out on the prairie?) when they wrote this literal value directly into the Constitution the century before last. (The 5¢ a mile was set in 1891-- this is approximately $1.18 in 2008 dollars!)

We need to support our legislators by giving them new reimbursement rules that are current, not set in the 19th century! If we want a citizen legislature in such a sparsely populated state, we need to support their travel fairly and sensibly.

Radical votes Yes on G.

Constitutional Amendment H -
An Amendment to the South Dakota Constitution, to repeal certain provisions relating to corporations.

This is another cleanup/update of our State Constitution to bring it into line with current law elsewhere, simply bringing our corporate law in synch with other states. It's important that these things are not unique to South Dakota so we can work with other states.... most of it are with relation to obscure details of corporate governance that will not affect how business is done in South Dakota. No one was found to file against it, maybe because the people that really care know the meaning of legal terms like "debenture" .... and as far as I can tell we should go ahead and let them have what they want in this case.

Radical votes Yes on H.

Constitutional Amendment I -
An Amendment to the South Dakota Constitution, to provide for a maximum of forty legislative days each year.

Currently, the Legislature meets 35 and 40 days in alternate years. I think our state is big enough to need forty days of deliberation every year.

Radical votes Yes on I.

Constitutional Amendment J -
An Amendment to the South Dakota Constitution, to eliminate term limits for legislators.

Unlike certain Republicans like Sen Bill Napoli who were for this until their time was up, I've always been against term limits as undemocratic. Sure, I don't particularly like the fact that voters of District 35 may disrespect women and further embarrass our State by sending Bill back into the spotlight if this passes, but, hey, it's their right.

Tom Daschle and Stan Adelstein can both tell you, we have always had term limits in South Dakota. We call them elections.

Radical votes Yes on J.


  1. Not that you will care, but if you are trying to make a point, you may as well get the facts straight. Napoli could have run again this year...his time was not up.

    BTW, I agree with you on term limits. And the other atuff you mentioned.

  2. We ought to charge the legislators...especially Napoli...5 cents a mile...5 cents a mile for every inch their tongue is out of their mouths. That way we'd have a surplus in the billions every year.